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SEC anounces10-game, conference-only schedule starting Sept. 26

Football season will start for UK receiver Josh Ali and his teammates on Sept. 26. (Vicky Graff Photo)

By GUY RAMSEY, UK Athletics

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Southeastern Conference announced Thursday an adjusted schedule for the 2020 football season. As a result, the start of the season has been delayed and Kentucky football will now play a 10-game schedule, all against SEC opponents, beginning on Sept. 26.

A revised schedule for the 2020 SEC football season will be announced at a later date. UK’s 10-game schedule will include one mid-season open date and an open date on Dec. 12. The SEC Football Championship Game will be played Dec. 19 at Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta, rescheduled from the original date of Dec. 5.

“Our adjusted schedule puts us in the best possible position to play the 2020 football season,” Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart said. “We are excited to focus as a football program and an athletics department on preparing to kick off the season on Sept. 26.”

The adjustment allows SEC universities to focus on the healthy return of campus communities and the gradual re-introduction of athletics, as the 14 members of the SEC continue to monitor developments related to COVID-19. The actions were taken following extensive discussions and thorough deliberation among the SEC’s Presidents and Chancellors, Athletics Directors, Conference Office staff, and medical advisors, led by the SEC’s Return to Activity and Medical Guidance Task Force.

With the adjusted schedule, UK’s annual rivalry game with Louisville will not be played this season. The SEC’s decision to limit competition to Conference-only schedules and rescheduling of the SEC Championship Game is based on the need for maximum flexibility in making any necessary scheduling adjustments while reacting to developments around the pandemic and continued advice from medical professionals.

“I fully support the SEC’s decision to move to conference-only games, though we are disappointed we won’t have the chance to compete with Louisville for the Governor’s Cup this season,” Barnhart said. “That series means a great deal to the Commonwealth and we look forward to working with Louisville to continue the series in seasons to come.”

The rescheduled start to the season will allow the SEC to continue to monitor health trends across its 11-state footprint, as well as monitor developments in technology around mitigation and treatment of the virus, including:

• Trends in public health indicators throughout the SEC’s 11-state footprint, including positive cases of COVID-19, hospitalizations and recovery statistics

• State, local and campus heath directives, including restrictions on gatherings, isolation requirements for travelers, and other health and travel restrictions

• Continued development of risk mitigation strategies

• Continued advancement in COVID-19 testing reliability and availability

• Continued evolution of time-based strategies for resuming activities after positive test results, including contact tracing, isolation and quarantine requirements

• Observation of successes and challenges presented by return to competition in other sports

UK Athletics continues to work with university, SEC and state officials to determine capacity and attendance protocol for its five home games. Fans who have questions or need special accommodations are encouraged to contact the UK Ticket Office at (800) 928-2287 (option 4).

Other notes related to the resumption of competition:

• The SEC announced in July that the sports of men’s and women’s cross country, soccer and volleyball would be postponed through at least August 31.  Start dates and schedules for those sports, as well as sports in their non-traditional seasons during the fall, will be announced at a later date.

• The SEC announced in July that student-athletes in all sports who elect to not participate in intercollegiate athletics during the fall 2020 academic semester because of health and/or safety concerns related to COVID-19 will continue to have their scholarships honored by their university and will remain in good standing with their team.

• The SEC’s Return to Activity and Medical Guidance Task Force continues to meet on policies and procedures for the safe return of student-athletes to competition, including the development of comprehensive testing and reporting policies, building on the NCAA’s Resocialization of College Sports Guidelines.

• Each athletics program has been engaged in evaluating best practices for game operations to prepare a safe environment for student-athletes, coaches, staff, officials and other individuals necessary to conduct games.


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  1. Hopefully, we get to play Arkansas, Vandy, Ole Miss, S. Carolina, the obligatory games with Tennessee, Florida, and Georgia, Maybe Miss. St. and Missouri will be in the final three games along with Auburn. That is our best case scenario and if all things go our way, we could be 6 – 4 for the season. My guess would be there will not be any bowl games. The playoffs would be expanded to an 8 team field without fans.

    1. I doubt it. I look for a better record than 6-4 if UK can stay healthy 33.

  2. Vanderbilt Win Florida Loss
    S. Carolina Win Tennessee Loss
    Missouri Win Georgia Loss
    Miss. St. Win Auburn Loss
    Arkansas Win

    If Ole Miss is our 10th game, we get a Win. If Alabama, LSU, or Texas A&M are on our schedule, any of the 3 will be losses. We go 2 – 3 in our own division. Without the cupcakes on the schedule, wins will be hard to come by.

  3. We’ll see. You are about as encouraging as a heart attack 33. If this season is played in spite of the fear mongering liberals, and UK wins the East, what hole will you climb in after reading your BS above? You had the same message last year, as I recall, and then when the freight train Lynn Bowden and company put the hammer down, here comes old 33, using another handle back then of course, jumping on the UK bandwagon after the VT bowl win. Do you ever give UK any sort of kudos, ever?

  4. Until we can beat Tennessee, Florida, and Georgia at least 33% of the time, we can’t talk seriously about being competitive in the SEC East. We have to be able to beat Alabama, LSU, and Auburn at least 20% of the time to ever have a hope of winning an SEC crown. Beating the Vandys and South Carolinas along with all of the Popcorn States were usually stack our schedule with, gets us in a bowl game, but it does nothing to make us competitive in our league. Hopefully, we will get there some day, but that day is not now. Stoops has done much with the KY program, but until he unloads Gran on someone, we will always be a middle of the pack team in the SEC. Bowden saved Gran’s job last year. Maybe Gran learned something from that, maybe not. I expect him to put our offense back in leg irons again this year, if there is a this year.

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